mjr wrote:Do the following examples of dodgy politics still appear?
Don't have a copy to hand, but a few comments on your comments...
mjr wrote:Introduction, How Cyclecraft can help you to cycle well: "very often conflicts could be avoided altogether by the cyclist riding more diligently." [Let's open a government-backed cycling manual with victim-blaming, eh?]
You seem to have taken an assumptive leap there. I can think of plenty of conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists where the cyclist is not the clear victim and where riding more diligently would prevent it.
mjr wrote:Chapter 2, Cadence and sprint speed: "Increasing cadence and sprint speed are two of the most positive steps a cyclist can take to enhance safety. [...] a sprint speed of 32 km/h (20mph) will enable you to tackle most traffic situations with ease." [Widely criticised, including on the "alt dft" and "as easy as" pages I linked above.]
It deserves criticism for the same reason that vehicular cycling in general deserves criticism, but as a tool to deal with existing conditions (which is what it is) it's more interested in results than idealism. And the fact of the matter is that if you're dealing with e.g. a major roundabout with brisk, heavy traffic the ability to step on it can make a very useful difference. Maybe you don't ever use a turn of speed to get where you want to be in traffic from time to time, but I certainly do.
mjr wrote:Chapter 3, Sharing the roads (itself a dodgy political term): "no alternative to the general road network has yet been devised which is as safe or advantageous overall for cycling." [weasel words]
One I disagree with personally (see "The Netherlands"), but while such a system has, I would say, been devised it certainly doesn't exist in the UK. You may feel sharing the roads is dodgy politics, but I fell it's reality for most of my riding, most of the time.
mjr wrote:Chapter 7, Other cyclists: "the riding standard of many cyclists is not high" [weasel words]
I don't care if they're "weasel words", it is quite true. Were I not quite prepared for people making manoeuvres across my path without bothering to look or signal I'd have come off a lot more than I have.
mjr wrote:Chapter 8, Choosing routes: "main roads with bus lanes which cyclists can use are often good routes". [weasel words]
How are those "weasel words"? They can be. When I had to get from the Glasgow SSE Hydro to Queen Street on a very tight schedule for the last train I spied it out on Streetview first and... chose the main roads with the bus lanes.
mjr wrote:Chapter 10, Cycle paths and other facilities, is full of it. As well as the absurdity of leaving where most people would start riding until the last techniques chapter, it's a good way to leave the rant ringing in the ears of anyone reading the book start to finish, because many people will skip the tandem/recumbent stuff and the less excited stuff about poor weather and equipment won't displace it. Most of these claims are debatable, many contain weasel words, all are stated without evidence (often without basic details to allow fact-checking) and all are basically political IMO:
• "experienced cyclists often avoid using cycle paths," [weasel words and implied insult of cycleway users]
But we do, because a lot of them are pants.
mjr wrote: • "there is evidence that some facilities are both dangerous in themselves and lead to unsafe cycling practices", [unverifiable]
No, clearly obvious to anyone who's opened their eyes around the UK. Like anytime there's a waffere theen
paint-delimited piece of nonsense alongside a busy road.
mjr wrote: • "Facilities segregated from the carriageway mainly benefit riders who fear motor traffic", [just plain BS]
I'm with you there
mjr wrote: • "Using cycle paths can result in these cyclists being more at risk", [weasel words]
You love saying "weasel words", but the fact of the matter is that if you don't realise that to be the actual case you are being disingenuous in the extreme
mjr wrote: • "it is usually easier and more predictable to keep with traffic", [debatable]
Needs more context
mjr wrote: • "the lack of regular flexing by wide-tyred vehicles can lead to premature break-up [of cycle track surfaces]", [just plain BS - heavy motor vehicles do thousands of times more damage, breaking up surfaces. The main reasons for cycle track damage near me (on cycle tracks designed to be used by maintenance vehicles) is illegal incursions by heavy motor vehicles!]
I'm with you there
mjr wrote: • "Even well-designed cycle tracks are notorious for broken glass, persistent mud and other nuisances, for they do not benefit from the cleansing action of motor vehicles," [just plain BS]
So you've never come across complaints of glass in a farcility? Really?
mjr wrote: • "the consequences of two cyclists, each riding at about 25 km/h (15 mph), colliding head-on are not much different from a single cyclist colliding with a car. The fatalities which have occurred on cycle tracks illustrate this", [just plain BS - the kinetic energy of a car doing 15mph is so much bigger than a cyclist doing that]
I'm with you there
mjr wrote: • "cycles and pedestrians usually mix less well than cycles and cars, as discipline is poorer", [just plain BS]
Sounds a lot like reality to me.
mjr wrote: • "Roadside cycle tracks increase the number of junctions that a cyclist meets, for they are interrupted by every driveway as well as every road. In each case, it is the cyclist who must give way to crossing traffic, unlike on the road, where there cyclist would have the same priority as accompanying vehicles", [just plain BS - the driveways form junctions with the road too and it's pretty rare to see a cycle track giving way to driveways]
Sounds a lot like reality to me, especially if you take values of "giving way" that encompass what actually happens as opposed to what should. Especially where sightlines are poor and a driver has a meter of bonnet to push out before they can actually see anyone who might be coming.
mjr wrote: • "On the road, you can use positioning and listening to reduce the angle over which you need to concentrate to less than 90° close to a junction," [just plain BS - if you do that, you're in danger of a surprise left-hook]
I need a bit more context for this one
mjr wrote: • "If you cycle abroad, the use of roadside cycle tracks is often compulsory, although some countries are now reviewing these laws in a bid to cut cycling casualties", [unverifiable]
Given how many countries there are overall, you'd always be best to check on local conditions and laws yourself
mjr wrote: • "It is quite wrong, however, to think of these [cycle trails] as 'safe' routes, for each year many people are hurt, sometimes very seriously, using cycle trails", [weasel words]
But it's true.
mjr wrote: • "Many by-pass facilities are only really suitable for the more timid and slow rider who is prepared to accept the delay and shortcomings of an indirect route" [weasel words and insults]
But it's true. Last time our CTC group went through Guardbridge the lead rider took the signed cycle route. Me and another at the back know it, ignored it, and beat them through a few hundred meters by several minutes without adjusting our speed.
Most of your issues seem to be "weasel words" which in turn seems to be a problem with pointing out the reality of cycling in the UK, particularly with regard to the cack put in to notionally help us. But the reality is that if
you're prepared to do it, vehicular cycling works okay and the caveats about alternatives are fair points.
The wider reality is that many people are not
prepared to do it (and I have no problem with that) and for the many, rather than the few, we ought to have a system like NL where Cyclecraft would be fairly irrelevant. But we don't have a system like NL so cycling here is for the few, and a book that deals with reality rather than ideal situations for unicorn riders strikes me as more useful. I'm not onside with the idea that we don't need and shouldn't want something like NL because the roads are great on an (incorrect) "if I can do it, anyone can do it!" basis, but the meat of the book is "this is how to deal with the busy roads you probably can't avoid".
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...